Thursday, April 21, 2011

Recently concluded "Future of Legal Ed" conference offers many ideas to improve skills training

We've blogged before about practitioners in different locations banding together to share expertise and resources by forming "virtual" law firms (here, here and here).  A group of six law schools is considering doing something similar according to this report from the National Law Journal:

[New York Law School Dean] Matasar announced a new consortium of six law schools that have agreed to consider collaborating on new technology initiatives. He said the group would look at creating an online platform for delivering distance education that the schools themselves would own. This would allow experts from different law schools to teach across campuses.

You can read the official press release here as well as the ABA Journal's coverage here

Another popular idea to emerge from the conference is something called Apps for Justice:

Apps for Justice: Learning Law by Creating Software, [was] created by a team of educators and business people headed by Chicago-Kent College of Law professor Ron Staudt. The project's purpose is twofold: Students learn about technology and substantive law by creating software applications that walk users through legal scenarios or offer other legal support, while lawyers and the public benefit from online resources that would help improve access to justice for everyone.

"They can focus on tools practitioners can use themselves to 'work smarter'; they can focus on tools that legal advocates and other kinds of helpers can use to assist those with legal needs; they can focus on systems that self-helpers can use to address their own legal problems and opportunities," the proposal reads.

The Apps for Justice team proposed launching pilot programs at five law schools with a grant from the Legal Services Corp. The programs would harness distance-learning technology. The team estimates the two-year cost of the program at $440,000.

Read more about that here.


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